Holiday home owners in Northland are being warned to remain vigilant when renting out their properties following the discovery of a methamphetamine laboratory in a coastal property.
Five people were arrested last week at a Tutukaka holiday home in Dolphin Place which they had rented and set up as a methamphetamine clan lab. Two women and three men appeared in the Whangarei District Court and were remanded in custody on a variety of drug charges including manufacturing methamphetamine.
Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said police had not noticed a trend in holiday homes being used as P labs, but owners who hired out holiday homes should be vigilant.
The holiday home was hired out for $3000 for eight days.
"We'd advise owners to check people out as best they can, before renting their homes.
"We also encourage owners to ask neighbours to keep an eye on their homes and report anything that appears suspicious," Mr Burke.
He said police were grateful for the community's vigilance which led to the discovery of the lab.
Charla May McIntyre, 18, of Kerikeri, Kimberley Rose Gibbons-Hurinui, 30, of Auckland, Julian Donald Robert, 43, of Mangawhai, Jeffery James Hall, 33, from Northcote, and Tama Hatepe Watene-Toi were jointly charged with manufacturing methamphetamine on July 7.
They all face two charges of unlawful possession of firearms, which relate to a sawn-off .22 rifle and an AK-47 rifle. They also face one charge of possession of precursor equipment. They were remanded to appear again on August 1.
Manufacturing the Class A drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.